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The neighbourhoods of Canamunt and Canavall: the authenticity of Palma de Mallorca’s historic centre

In 1598, Palma was divided in two by sa Riera, a natural stream that runs through what are now the Ramblas, Unió street, and the Born area before flowing into the sea at the current Plaza de la Reina. The neighbourhoods of Canamunt and Canavall in Palma bear witness to a rich history marked by conflicts and rivalries between the island’s main noble families. Since the late 16th century, these two noble factions, known as Canamunt and Canavall, engaged in an intense rivalry that left a deep mark on the city and the entire island of Mallorca.

The origin of this conflict dates back to previous noble struggles on the island, as well as the attempts of aristocratic families to consolidate their political and economic power after the turbulent civil wars of the Germanies. The Rossinyol and Anglada families, the two main opposing families, fought for control of Palma, attracting other noble groups and bands of bandits to their ranks.

The first phase of the conflict, which lasted from 1598 to 1606, was marked by a duel between the Anglada and Rossinyol families. The dispute was sparked by the unrequited love between Nicolau Rossinyol and Elisabet Anglada, leading to violent clashes in different parts of the city. This period was marked by serious confrontations and acts of violence, both in Palma and elsewhere on the island.

In the second phase of the conflict, the leader of Canamunt, Arnau de Santacília, strengthened his alliance with a powerful bandit gang known as the Pandilla de Selva. This alliance triggered a wave of revenge and counter-revenge that resulted in numerous homicides throughout Mallorca. However, the intervention of Bishop Joan de Santander in 1632 succeeded in reaching a peace agreement between the noble factions and the bandit gangs.

Despite efforts to achieve peace, the conflict resurfaced on several occasions, involving noble leaders and bandits such as Llorenç Coll Barona. The persecution of the bandits in 1666, backed by the authorities and the nobility, marked a turning point in the conflict, although banditry persisted until the War of Succession.

The interpretation of this conflict has been the subject of debate among Mallorcan historians, some of whom consider it part of the island’s social movements, while others see it as an internal confrontation within the aristocracy.

Today, the neighbourhoods of Canamunt and Canavall remain a vivid reminder of this turbulent period in the history of Palma de Mallorca. Every year, on the first Sunday of September, a water pistol battle is held between the factions of Canamunt and Canavall, as a way to keep the memory of these historical events alive.

In conclusion, the history of the neighbourhoods of Canamunt and Canavall is a testimony to the complex network of loyalties and rivalries that characterized Mallorcan society in the past. Through its conflicts and confrontations, this neighbourhood has left an indelible mark on the history of Palma de Mallorca.

The labyrinthine alleys that form the old town of Palma, once known as the ‘Chinese quarter’ of the casc antic, rise from their ashes showing all their authenticity and freshness, making the neighbourhood of Canamunt today the headquarters of the Mallorcan underground.

After starting the day with an ensaimada at the Ca’n Joan de S’Aigo bakery, walking or cycling are the best options to approach the royal palace of the Almudaina, the imposing cathedral, or La Lonja, all icons of Levantine Gothic. Nearby, in Parc del Mar, at the foot of the wall, you can enjoy a walk in the shadow of the Middle Ages.

In the premises of this neighbourhood, art galleries appear and ephemeral concerts or micro-theatre sessions are held, all garnished with good sobrasada. Teatre Sans stands out, a theatre café with a school that stages alternative works in a medieval building with a courtyard and a large arch, or Mimbrería shop Vidal, located on Corderia street, which sells wicker objects following the tradition since the mid-16th century when there were 16 registered wicker workshops in Mallorca.

Posada Terra Santa: Your boutique hotel in Canamunt

In addition to exploring the rich history and culture of the neighbourhoods of Canamunt and Canavall, visitors have the opportunity to stay at the exclusive boutique hotel Posada Terra Santa, located in the very heart of the emblematic Canamunt neighbourhood. With its historic architecture and Mediterranean style, the hotel offers a unique experience of relaxation and well-being that perfectly complements the unique atmosphere of the area.

From Posada Terra Santa, guests can easily explore the picturesque cobbled streets, ancient walls, and historical monuments that make Canamunt and Canavall such a special place. After a day of exploration, they can return to the hotel to relax in its comfortable rooms, enjoy delicious local cuisine at its restaurant La Despensa del Barón, or simply unwind in its peaceful inner courtyard.

Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the history and beauty of Palma de Mallorca by staying at Posada Terra Santa! Book your stay now and discover everything this exclusive boutique hotel and its fascinating neighbourhood have to offer. We assure you it will be an unforgettable experience.